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Frequently Asked Questions

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Breastfeeding Support

When should a baby start eating solid foods such as cereals, vegetables and fruits?

Breast milk alone is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first six months after birth. For these very young infants, the American Academy of  Pediatrics (AAP) states that water, juice, and other foods are generally unnecessary.  Even when babies enjoy discovering new tastes and textures, solid foods should not replace breastfeeding, but merely complement breast milk as the infant's main source of nutrients throughout the first year.  Beyond one year, as the variety and volume of solid foods gradually increase, breast milk remains an ideal addition to the child's diet.

How long should a mother breastfeed?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond.

Do I still need birth control if I am breastfeeding?

Yes. Breastfeeding is not a sure way to prevent pregnancy, even though it can delay the return of normal ovulation and menstrual cycles. Talk to your doctor or nurse about birth control choices that are okay to use while breastfeeding.

Where can I find answers to my other questions about breastfeeding?

PDPH Breastfeeding Support
National Women’s Health Information Center
Philadelphia WIC Offices
Centers for Disease Control                       
La Leche League                                              
Nursing Mother’s Advisory Council         
National Library of Medicine Drug Database